Council voting is anti-democratic

AT the last meeting of Malvern Hills District Council, Councillor John Raine, who holds the chair in local government studies at the University of Birmingham and who might be rightly regarded as someone who knows what he is talking about, pointed out that the council's Conservative group, which holds about 54 per cent of the seats, had made sure that its members occupied the position of chairman in 100 per cent of the council's committees.

The council's leader, Councillor David Hughes, had no meaningful response to this.

Examination of the facts reveals that a small clique of the Conservative group holds those positions and so benefits from the extra allowances they command, recently increased at the behest of the Conservative group and against vociferous opposition.

I calculate that just 10 Conservative councillors collect just under £100,000 each year in allowances, and the Tory leadership relies upon this patronage to get approval for half-baked ideas such as handing over our council's administration to another council, Wychavon.

The development management committees have always been regraded as apolitical, yet pressure was exerted to ensure that two members of the clique were elected to their chairs with the £3,150 allowance they each command.

I take some solace from the fact that it worked only in the case of one of the two committees.

I think that this behaviour results in what is referred to as the "payroll vote", which I regard as anti-democratic and degenerate.

Roll on the election!

Sarah Rouse

Leigh Sinton

Comments (5)

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6:58am Wed 16 Jul 14

denon says...

Catherine Staite is the director inlogov. John Raine is professor of management of Crimean justice.

It's a pity the paper do not check facts before printing letters

Now John will be forces to write and correct the error done by a third party.

I wonder what Catherine thinks about this unforgivable error of promotion in academia.

Something of a plot for a Malcolm Bradbury novel
Catherine Staite is the director inlogov. John Raine is professor of management of Crimean justice. It's a pity the paper do not check facts before printing letters Now John will be forces to write and correct the error done by a third party. I wonder what Catherine thinks about this unforgivable error of promotion in academia. Something of a plot for a Malcolm Bradbury novel denon
  • Score: -2

6:59am Wed 16 Jul 14

denon says...

Should say criminal justice
Should say criminal justice denon
  • Score: 0

10:25am Sun 20 Jul 14

sarah and her chickens says...

Oh dear Denon. Well at least this small error is your only complaint. If you replace hold with has held twice then all is correct. John Raine has held the position of director twice .The last time was 2011.
No idea who Malcolm Bradbury is though.
Anyway you best get back to handing out your wife's election leaflets!!! Time is running out. Five candiates in the Wells and only the Conservative party can be held responsible for the SWDP that is turning the Wells into a concrete jungle,
Oh dear Denon. Well at least this small error is your only complaint. If you replace hold with has held twice then all is correct. John Raine has held the position of director twice .The last time was 2011. No idea who Malcolm Bradbury is though. Anyway you best get back to handing out your wife's election leaflets!!! Time is running out. Five candiates in the Wells and only the Conservative party can be held responsible for the SWDP that is turning the Wells into a concrete jungle, sarah and her chickens
  • Score: 1

11:07am Sun 20 Jul 14

Casmal says...

Well done sarah and her chickens for making sense of this. Pity denon doesn't doesn't check where his foot is before he opens his mouth!

Just looked up John Raine on the Birmingham university website and found this:

"John has been an academic member of staff at the Institute of Local Government Studies since 1979, during which time he has served two terms as Director (from 1995-2001 and from 2009-2011) as well as Director of Postgraduate Research, and Director of Postgraduate Studies. He was founder director of the University's brand-leading Public Service MBA programme and of the MSc in Public Management."

And: "He is also a specialist in local government, and again has undertaken many research and consultancy projects for individual local authorities as well as for national government departments. "

Sounds like a councillor who does indeed know what he's talking about! Sadly a rare beast these days.

For those interested in learning more, here is the link:

http://www.birmingha
m.ac.uk/staff/profil
es/government-societ
y/raine-john.aspx

Mind you, we had little opportunity at the last Council meeting to know whether any of the Tories knew what they were talking about, as all but about 3-4 stayed absolutely silent on the issue of sharing a CEO with Wychavon. Unlike the opposition, who had clearly undertaken in-depth research and found discrepancies in what the Leader and Deputy were telling them. Unfortunately the silent Tories had clearly swallowed their Leaders lines hook, line and sinker, as they all followed his voting pattern, in sheep-like fashion. Clearly been whipped into shape.....
Well done sarah and her chickens for making sense of this. Pity denon doesn't doesn't check where his foot is before he opens his mouth! Just looked up John Raine on the Birmingham university website and found this: "John has been an academic member of staff at the Institute of Local Government Studies since 1979, during which time he has served two terms as Director (from 1995-2001 and from 2009-2011) as well as Director of Postgraduate Research, and Director of Postgraduate Studies. He was founder director of the University's brand-leading Public Service MBA programme and of the MSc in Public Management." And: "He is also a specialist in local government, and again has undertaken many research and consultancy projects for individual local authorities as well as for national government departments. " Sounds like a councillor who does indeed know what he's talking about! Sadly a rare beast these days. For those interested in learning more, here is the link: http://www.birmingha m.ac.uk/staff/profil es/government-societ y/raine-john.aspx Mind you, we had little opportunity at the last Council meeting to know whether any of the Tories knew what they were talking about, as all but about 3-4 stayed absolutely silent on the issue of sharing a CEO with Wychavon. Unlike the opposition, who had clearly undertaken in-depth research and found discrepancies in what the Leader and Deputy were telling them. Unfortunately the silent Tories had clearly swallowed their Leaders lines hook, line and sinker, as they all followed his voting pattern, in sheep-like fashion. Clearly been whipped into shape..... Casmal
  • Score: 0

9:29pm Sun 20 Jul 14

Norman Hepple says...

Well done Sarah for telling us the facts. I must say the difference between
hold and held was significant though you indicate it might not be material to your argument.

Are you implying Denon is the partner of an electoral candidate. If so there may be a breach of electoral law. Are you going to draw it to the attention of the police.

Good luck
Well done Sarah for telling us the facts. I must say the difference between hold and held was significant though you indicate it might not be material to your argument. Are you implying Denon is the partner of an electoral candidate. If so there may be a breach of electoral law. Are you going to draw it to the attention of the police. Good luck Norman Hepple
  • Score: 0
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